AntiFriday: Orange bikes, self-loathing marketers, add-blocking, etc.

Posted by Rob Walker on May 30, 2008
Posted Under: Anti,Backlashing

This week’s rundown of backlashing, dissent and critiques: Much more anti-ness today than last week, including someone who is anti-me!

ORANGE BIKES TAKE MANHATTAN from Kalim Armstrong on Vimeo.

1. Above, a trailer for a short film about the DKNY orange bikes promotion that ticked off some people so much they sawed the bikes in half when they realized it was a murketing effort that cyclists said shamlessly knocked off the “ghost bike” idea that is intended as a marker for cyclists killed or hit by a car. The film short, titled Orange Bikes Take Manhattan, plays tonight as part of a program of shorts at the Bicycle Film Festival. (Thanks Andrew Andrew!)

2. According one marketing executive: “Consumers hate us — the marketers and advertisers who invent new ways to spam them online and offline. The result: [ad/marketing pro] turnover is rising dramatically, and advertisers are ranked below lawyers in terms of public respect.” Ad Age suggests that the underlying problem, or the upshot, or both, is that “self-loathing has become all too commonplace in marketing.”

A marketing backlash among marketers? Well, no. The proposed solution is “Marketing with Meaning.” Examples: “ConAgra Foods, which has attracted more than 2 million visits to a healthful-lifestyle site since January, and Kroger Co., which has gotten more than 1.2 million votes on more than 35,000 designs in a contest to create the grocer’s national reusable bag.”

Assessing this, Anti Advertising Agency lives up to its name and critiques the critique: “A different type of more stealthy, manipulative message.” (That AAA post has drawn some comments worth checking out.)

3. Speaking of AAA:Add-Art is a free Firefox add-on which replaces advertising on websites with curated art images. Created with the support of Eyebeam, Rhizome, Add-Art releases new art shows every two weeks and strives to feature contemporary artists and curators.” Intro/demo here.

List continues after the jump.

4. In North Carolina, protesters backlashing against a proposed coal-fired power plant from Duke Energy showed up in front of the home of that firm’s CEO. Facing South says: “the activists set up a stack of boxes labeled “Rogerside” (a play on the real plant’s name of Cliffside) and declared that their “power plant” would be fueled by Rogers himself. Said Jill Rockingham, the prank plant’s “chief engineer”:

“The hot air emitting from Jim Rogers mouth has been around for quite some time, but the last couple of years has seen an exponential growth of this untapped energy source as Rogers parades around the country calling for greenhouse gas reductions while building the dirty Cliffside coal plant. This was simply an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”

5. According to Fortune, the company with the least admired products/services is: Coors. Followed by Amtrak, Dollar General. Here’s the bottom ten.

6. WSJ (among others): “Congressional Democrats are renewing pressure on the drug industry’s direct-to-consumer advertising amid growing tension over the marketing of several best-selling drugs.”

7. UnBeige among those slamming and mocking the Hillary Clinton graphic-T contest: “cringe-inducing.”

8. And finally: Here is the first (that I’m aware of) full-on anti-Buying In assault, courtesy of Ad Age. Needless to say, I am anti their point of view, although not particularly surprised by it.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

From the Ad Age review:

“If you’re the kind of biz-book reader who seeks application as well as insight, there’s not much here for you. But of course, that’s probably part of the point.”

First: Yah think?

Second: Isn’t the whole point of insight to apply it to behavior?

Written By William Morris on May 30th, 2008 @ 9:40 am

I haven’t read your book (yet!). But the review in AdAge sounds like the reviewer thought the book was about how to market better – about how to murket. Having read your blog/column for a few months now, this seems hilariously ironic to me.

Written By Dan on May 30th, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

Having received Debbie Millman’s graces in the AdAge comments means much more than any AdAge reviewers comments.

Written By BWJ on June 2nd, 2008 @ 11:54 am

Thanks all. My only additional comment is to BWJ: Yes, the Debbie Millman comment really, really made my day.

Written By Rob Walker on June 3rd, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

“Marketing with Meaning.”

Fucking. Impossible. Have you ever seen anything more insincere than those fucking music videos that show bands playing and footage of Katrina and starving children? ConAgra? Please. Marketers shouldn’t be telling people about healthy lifestyles. You can throw all the stats you want at me. Marketers shouldn’t be telling ANYONE about ANY lifestyle. Let the actual things they suck the life out of do what they’re meant to – stop quantifying everything and maybe people will think for themselves enough to make the right choices! They got us in this mess, there is NO way they’re getting us out of it.

Written By Pete on June 25th, 2008 @ 5:22 am
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